Education and Indigenous health in a globalised world

Year: 2001

Author: Clapham, Kathleen, Gosden, Diane

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Aboriginal Health Workers are a very recent occupational group within the Australian health care system. This as well as the nature of their health work in primary health care and community development, contributes to the poor knowledge which other health professionals have of the role. This paper analyses the challenges and dilemmas which Aboriginal Health Workers face in their professional practice, and the educational models needed for them to take up the opportunities offered by globalisation. It documents current debates on the development of appropriate models of education for Aboriginal Health Workers. We argue that what is needed in Australia is a radical shift in approaches to Aboriginal health and education, one which will incorporate the benefits of globalisation to improve Aboriginal health. Aboriginal Health Workers increasingly require the skills of critical thinking, the ability to develop new solutions to health problems, and the ability to engage professionally with a changing world. The analysis is informed by research, undertaken by Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers involved in Aboriginal Health Worker education in New South Wales.